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John Watson MT302 Organizational Behavior Unit Three: Case Incident 2 Whistle Blowers: Saints or Sinners 6/27/09
Whistle Blowers: Saints or Sinners 1. Do you believe that whistle-blowing is good for organizations and its members, or is it, as David Stetler believes, often a means to extort financial gains from companies?
Is having strong ethics whether they are ethical or unethical practices makes it easier for a person to take action than for that person to process the making of decisions and choices for today's ethically working environment? In this week's case "whistle blowing" is a new topic and issue for me in which I only heard of a few months ago. I heard of it through a discussion board from a previous class in which students were trying to prevent employees from revealing confidentiality and security from an organization to others who were not suppose to have this information. "Whistle blowing" was one of the solutions to preventing this act. I feel that in this case of Douglas Duran former VP of sales for TAP, it was his good ethics and intuition to correct the wrongdoing of the organization while using the precise process of decision-making and chose to go through the court system to punish the company for what they may have been doing towards the insurance company.
My reasoning is that Duran is innocent from unethical practices from extorting financial gains from TAP. According to Senator Charles Grassley, "having informants report on company wrongdoings is the best way to prevent illegal activity. There can never be enough bureaucrats to discourage fraudulent use of taxpayer's money but knowing colleagues might squeal can be deterrent" (Judge, 2007) p.179. The reason was for his innocence is there were 500 boxes of evidence and the case settled. In addition, it cost TAP over 1 billion dollars of legal fees to clear them of all wrongdoing. David Stetler's, job as a defense attorney is to defend whether the defendant is right or wrong. In this case, it clearly shows by its lesson that "whistle blowing" is good for an organization and those who are unethical to "whistle blow" to extort money are most likely behaving with the same attitude as organizations who commit unethical practices or crime.
2. How might self-fulfilling prophecy affect a whistle-blower¶s search for incriminating evidence against a company?
In the book Miracles it states, "That the Universal Law is impartial and unemotional. It has no way of knowing what
you want, or does it discriminate between your hopes and aspirations, likes and dislikes - it is pure energy. It accepts whatever thoughts, feelings, and actions you project and reflects them back to you unemotionally in the form of events that you experience day to day" (Wilde, 1983) p.2. To make a long definition short, a self-fulfilling prophecy is simply an idea someone gets into his or her head and subconsciously makes it a reality. A "whistle-blower" has the intention to find incriminating evidence, so even if the company is innocent, the whistle-blower may make false assumptions, even subconsciously, in order to incriminate the company, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. When frivolous lawsuits occur, how might these cases affect future whistle-blowers who have a valid legal claim against their company? Would they be more or less likely to come forward? How might their claims be evaluated? What should companies and the government do to prevent frivolous lawsuits? When frivolous lawsuits occur, it affects future "whistle blowers" by having them perceive the process of reporting their grievances by being discouraged in investing the time and effort to follow through with their claims because they may feel it might be a waste of time and they may not be took seriously.
Because of this dilemma, if a person had a legal claim and lack the three components model of creativity as well as have biases, errors, and preconceived notions in their own mind while lacking the process of decision-making and problem solving, they would less likely to come forward to make a claim against an organization (Judge, 2007). In this case, if employees provided strong evidence, have an open and shut case against a company and they had good ethics, authorities would evaluate their claim. On the other hand, if they were an unethical person by providing a weak case, authorities may not evaluate their claim. For companies to prevent frivolous law suits there is only one solution, don't do any wrong doing and create stricter guidelines toward making claims against a company. The government on the other hand should make stricter laws by taking away the reward of paying a "whistle blower" 30 percent of legal fees and by not providing them protection of reporting a wrongdoing unless a person can prove a company guilty. I guess what I am trying to say is a company and the government must really screen a person to find out if they are making a frivolous lawsuit.
4. Do you believe that employees of a company have an ethical obligation to first attempt to report wrong-doing to members of the company itself, or should they go straight to the authorities when they suspect illegal activity? What are some advantages and disadvantages of both actions?. This is a very tender and touchy question to answer because companies and most organizations are set up upon ranks of hierocracy and an organizational tree system. Therefore, reporting wrongdoing to members of a company first or authorities really depend on where in a company the wrongdoing is taking place. My opinion would be that if it is a large company and the wrongdoing is taking place on the lower end of the company I would most likely report it to member who are higher up in the company. If the wrongdoing does not stop or the company from the top is committing the wrongdoing, I will first proceed to report it to the authorities. The advantages of reporting illegal activity to a company first is that it allows a company the chance to correct their wrongdoings. However, the disadvantages could be harmful. An employee could lose their job, when reported they could go through many red tape, receive manipulation politically, and even die.
Reporting illegal activity to authorities first has advantages like the "NWC" National Whistle Blower Center who broadcast the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2009 on their website of what their protection should be(Williams, 1997 - 2008). The advantages are to relieve fear and retaliations that may occur which are amoungst the disadvantages. Other advantage if it is authenthic honest and truthful is that reporting wrongdoings of a company the whistleblower recieves percentages of the legal fees incurred which could results in the millions of dollars. Lastly I would like to add to an disadvantage of reporting illegal activity. Besides from experiecining the process of a lawsuit and trial if a person is found to have claimed a friviluos lawsuit that would tarnish their reputation as an ethical person and prevent them from getting a job in the future.
Judge, Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. (2007). Organizational Behavior, Twelfth Edition. Prentice Hall. Wilde, S. (1983). Miracles. Carson, Ca.: Hay House, Inc. Williams, L. (1997 - 2008). National Whistleblowers Center Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection. Retrieved June 28, 2009, from http://www.whistleblowers.org/index.php?option=com_content&t ask=view&id=840&Itemid=96
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